Did you know that The Cat in the Hat was written in 1954 using the reading vocabulary of the average 6-7 year old?
It was mainly written in an attempt to create something interesting for children that might attract them to read.
Theodor Geisel – aka Dr. Seuss – was supplied with a list of 348 words – he used 238 words (13 not on the list). And he definitely succeeded in the interesting part.
Just in case that wasn’t good enough – four years later in 1960, Theodor Geisel wrote a book using only 50 words –
a, am, and, anywhere, are, be, boat, box, car, could, dark, do, eat, eggs, fox, goat, good, green, ham, here, house, I, if, in, let, like, may, me, mouse, not, on, or, rain, Sam, say, see, so, thank, that, the, them, there, they, train, tree, try, will, with, would, you.
I’m sure you’ve recognised Green Eggs and Ham from that list. It is still one of the best selling children’s books of all time.
This may not seem much like the FUNDAEC rural university* at first glance but it uses the same logic. Rather than forcing people to meet the needs of the existing systems, it had a go at adapting the systems (in this case reading systems) to better fulfill the needs.
Clever Dr. Seuss…